OLEAN — The city of Olean is looking for a few dozen good men and women.
City officials reported that upward of 35 volunteers will be needed to get the new King Street Park playground up and running on Sept. 28.
“This is a very nice opportunity for the city, and we’re looking for some people to help put the park together,” said Mayor Bill Aiello.
Keri Stephen, coordinator of the city’s Office of Community Development, said that between 30 and 35 volunteers are needed during the 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. shift, while between 25 to 30 will be needed from 2 to 4 p.m. Lunch will be provided at 1 p.m., and all are invited to the 4 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony. Volunteers may come for just part of the day or stick around for the whole day, and the work will go on rain or shine.
“They’re going to stake out some markers, drill some holes in equipment, sort parts in the morning,” Stephen said. “In the afternoon, it’ll be the installation of the playground equipment, pouring the concrete and laying the playground surface material.”
Volunteers should bring a 3/8” ratchet, a round-nose shovel and a metal bow rake. To register as a volunteer, call the Office of Community Development at 376-5647 or email Alderman Kelly Andreano, R-Ward 2, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program is partially funded by a nonprofit grant aiming at improving community-based play facilities. The $15,000 Let’s Play Community Construction Grant for rebuilding the playground was announced in December.
After applying for the grant, the Common Council transferred $25,020 from the remaining contingency line in the 2017-18 city budget into a capital reserve to serve as matching funds.
As part of the grant aimed at bringing residents together, a community build day necessitates volunteer help.
The playground equipment at the park — on the site of the former School No. 4 — dates as far back as 1971, with some more added in 1986. Since then, the equipment has decayed without replacement. King Street is a popular destination for neighborhood families in East Olean, and also serves as a home for ball games.
In recent years, efforts have been made to replace equipment at some of the busier parks in the city, including War Vets Park and Oak Hill Park. In summer 2018, city workers narrowed King Street near Seneca Avenue to make accessing the park safer for pedestrians.